Tag Archives: David Dimbleby

BBC News Election Special: “Coalition of the winners”

And the winner is …. TV.  After months in advance of being told “it’s social media, stupid”, this election has made us realise that TV rules.

They can do fast, they can do slow.  They can give us the raw numbers, they can give us the raw human emotion. They have all the players and the movers and the shakers.  They can even get the movers and the shakers to hit each other when it gets a bit boring.

The only place they couldn’t yet get to was inside the Palace.  The badly taken snap of Cameron with her Madge – probably taken by Phil on his phone while making bad taste jokes about SamCam – was the last redoubt, shown rather embarassedly amongst the literally more moving footage.  Next time, next time we’ll have the Buck House CCTV and a Royal camera crew with live feeds to play into the 24 hour news.

This election – from the leaders debates to the common-sense defying but spot on exit polls, from the aerial shots of Whitehall to the No 10 door-step in and out – has been TV’s by a mile.

But interestingly, there is no coalition for these guys.  BBC, ITV and Sky still pretend the others don’t exist.  They’ll happily review all the papers and show off their Twitter feeds to demonstrate just how chébran they are.  But as they stand outside No 10 or on College Green they all seek to keep up the pretence that they’re the only TV crew there.

No 10 – or in Nick Robinson’s hypervent state “the most famous address in the world” (which I think the US president, the Pope and even the Queen might have grounds to query) – does provide the best backdrop for the chosen few political editors.  Hoi polloi have to goggle through the iron gates several hundred yards away.

No 10 is instantly recognisable and flatly iconic like a Warhol picture of a door.  It lends gravitas and honour to the chosen few allowed to stand in front.  It has sufficient comings and goings to make it interesting and yet not so many that it’s just another thoroughfare.  And they can be sure that no idiot will appear behind them and start doing silly walks. Continue reading

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Election News Special 2010: “Coalition of the losers”

The longest TV election night in UK history now reaches its 96th hour.  Have they allowed David Dimbleby some sleep?  Judging by his appearance at the hurriedly arranged 8.30 pm BBC1 Election special, he’s had a few hours kip.

But under the hallowed unwritten UK constitution it’s actually a requirement that a Dimbleby remains on TV until a new government is formed.   It’s going to be a long night.

You guys all wanted a hung parliament – and this is what it’s like.  We’re watching the formation of a Government in slow-mo, something  that usually happens in just a few hours on the early hours of a Friday morning after the polls close.

But you’ve got to admit these are great, dramatic political events.  Today (Monday) perhaps the best of all as Gordon Brown shifted the dynamic once more with his resigning as leader, but remaining PM.  It’s one of the great features of that same unwritten UK constitution that we can do this – “I’m resigning as leader, but I’m still in charge of the country”.  Beleaguered leaders elsewhere must see this as a pretty neat trick.

General Election Night, usually the time of highest drama as MPs fall and rise, now feels like the phony war.  There was no Portillo moment then.  But I think we’ve had it now, with Gordon falling on his sword outside No 10.  But “were you back home in time for Gordon?”, sadly doesn’t have the same ring to it. Continue reading

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